LUANDA (AFP) - Ghana avoided the ignominy of becoming the first World Cup qualifiers not to make it past the Africa Cup of Nations first round thanks to a little help from a legend's son.
Missing Michael Essien and a score of first choice players the four-time champions still managed to book their place in the quarter-finals with a 1-0 win over 10-man Burkina Faso here on Tuesday.
The only goal came from French-based Andre Ayew, son of one of Africa's most decorated players, Abedi 'Pele' Ayew, three-time Africa Footballer of the Year and a member of Marseille's 1993 Champions League winning side.
Ghana's reward was a last eight date with hosts Angola at Luanda's 11 November stadium on Sunday.
Algeria, the Group A runners-up, face Group B winners Ivory Coast, with Burkina Faso down and out.
The main news off the pitch on day 10 of the competition came from Cabinda where Mali despatched a letter of protest at Monday's goalless draw between Angola and Algeria.
The shared point put those two sides through from Group A at the expense of Mali, who cried foul.
That attitude incensed the Mali team who wrote to organisers the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to make an official complaint.
"We are lodging a vehement protest against the behaviour of the Algeria and Angola teams," the Mali Football Federation president Boubacar Thiam wrote in the letter, a copy of which has been seen by AFP.
"In fact the second half of the game was a total non-match, the two sides systematically refusing to play in order to maintain the score at 0-0 which was sufficient for qualification."
He continued: "This anti-sporting behaviour is contrary to the ethics and the fair-play policy put forward by FIFA and CAF must condemn it with the utmost vigour.
"It does a disservice to African football and to the game in general. We hope that CAF will take the necessary disciplinary measures."
Thiam cited as a precedent for his protest a similar incident at the Africa Cup of Nations Youth Championships in 2001 match against Cameroon and Egypt who received no points as punishment after a scoreless draw.
There was encouraging news meanwhile from South Africa concerning the state of health of Kodjovi Obilale, the goalkeeper injured in the deadly gun attack on the Togo team bus on January 8.
His condition is stable and he is responding well to treatment," said Erin Smylie, spokeswoman for Milpark Hospital, a private facility where the 25-year-old is being treated.
Obilale was shot in the back and abdomen on January 8 when separatist guerillas in the Angolan enclave of Cabinda opened fire on Togo's convoy as they entered the country to compete in the tournament.
The team's assistant coach and its squad media officer were killed in the shooting, which prompted Togo to withdraw from the competition.
Wednesday's action comes from Benguela where World Cup qualifiers Nigeria go into their crucial game with Mozambique distracted by reports that a presidential directive has ordered the sacking of underfire coach Shuaibu Amodu.
"Amodu is still in charge of the team and he took the team's training in Lubango yesterday (Monday). He will lead the team against Mozambique on Wednesday," Nigeria Football Federation official Taiwo Ogunjobi told AFP.
Nigeria need a draw to qualify, while champions Egypt can assure top spot in the group if they come away from their meeting with Benin with a point.
|4||M. Tall||16' 66'|
|Coach: Paulo Duarte|
for C. Kaboré 60'
for H. Bamogo 72'
for Paul Koulibaly 83'
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: America win big, New York lose|
|Alajuelense 2 Belen Siglo XXI 2: Visitors rally to salvage draw|
|Martino: Door is open for Tevez|
|Copa Sudamericana Review: River Plate, Libertad progress|
|Alianza Lima 2 Inti Gas 1: Guevgeozian´s late goal wins it|
|San Jose 1 Nacional Potosi 0: Munoz wins it for hosts|
|Slutsky slams poor CSKA|
|Guardiola lauds Bayern fight|
|Luis Enrique defends Barca rotation|
|De Boer happy with no-fear approach|
|Liga MX Preview: Ronaldinho set for league debut|
|Cousillas praises ´excellent´ Hart|
|12 de Octubre 1 Nacional Asuncion 1: Winning run ends for visitors|
|Union quash Moyes talk|
|Fleetwood Town 0 Barnsley 0: Alexander´s men fail to score again|
|Championship Review: Magath in the mire after Assombalonga hat-trick|
|Marco Silva slams Sporting|
|Hat-trick joy for Brahimi as Lopetegui calms expectations|
|Blanc laments PSG profligacy|
|Boateng revels in late winner|
|Valverde still seeking Herrera solution|
|Mourinho defends decision to rest Costa|
|Bundesliga Preview: Bayern provide Zinnbauer´s first test while Japanese pair collide|
|Barca suffered against APOEL - Xavi|
|Injuries temper Garcia joy|
|Stepanenko credits Lucescu tactics|
|La Liga Preview: Real out to end slump, pacesetters Barca visit Levante|
|City were hard done by - Hart|
|Maribor 1 Sporting Lisbon 1: Zahovic nets dramatic late leveller|
|Bayern Munich 1 Manchester City 0: Late Boateng strike settles opener|
|Barcelona 1 APOEL 0: Pique´s header gets Enrique up and running in Europe|
|Chelsea 1 Schalke 1: Huntelaar earns point for visitors|
|Ajax 1 Paris Saint-Germain 1: Schone free-kick denies visitors|
|Athletic Bilbao 0 Shakhtar Donetsk 0: Visitors secure valuable point|
|Porto 6 BATE 0: Brahimi hits hat-trick as Portuguese giants make history|
|Roma 5 CSKA Moscow 1: Returning trio inspire thumping win|
|Mandzukic to have surgery on broken nose|
|Duo back to strengthen Leicester options|
|Girard not underestimating Krasnodar|
|Ligue 1 Preview: Monaco out to build on Champions League win|
|Conte adapting to Italy challenge|
|Lambert pens new Villa deal|
|Eredivisie Preview: AZ begin life after Van Basten, Ajax and Feyenoord meet|
|Leverkusen sweat on Toprak fitness|
|Mazzarri optimistic ahead of Dnipro clash|
|Depay injury not a disaster, says Cocu|
|Roberto signs new Barca deal|
|Dodo and Fernandes handed Brazil call-up|
|Montella eyes strong Fiorentina start|
|Harbin Yiteng 1 Jiangsu Sainty 2: Yang strike heaps more misery on Yiteng|
|Result secondary against Bayern, says Zinnbauer|
|Bony not affected by transfer talk|
|De Bruyne expects stern Everton challenge|
|De Bruyne expects stern Everton challenge|
|Stegeman to stay on at Heracles|
|Immobile: There is more to come|
|Seoul 0 Western Sydney Wanderers 0: Australians hold firm in Korea|
|Benitez calls for unity at Napoli|
|Martinez relishing Wolfsburg test|
|Charlton play down Bent rumours|
|Milan facing Seedorf lawsuit|
|Ramos: Whistles affected Casillas|
|Milanic ´focused´ amid Leeds reports|
|Asamoah: Juve still under pressure|
|FA propose visa overhaul|
|Rodriguez revels in Real rout|
|Wenger preaches patience with Welbeck|
|Kehl suffers groin injury|
|Guardiola: United could not afford my stars|
|Balotelli will build on first goal - Rodgers|
|Ferguson ´the best´, says Rooney|
|Hazard eyeing improvement|
|Gomez confident goals will come|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Success for MLS sides|
|Copa Sudamericana Review: Estudiantes advance, Deportivo Cali poised|
|Queiroz signs new Iran contract|
|Sousa confident of Basel improvement|
|Villas-Boas heaps praise on Zenit|
|Jardim: ´We were superior´|
|Ludogorets upbeat after Anfield heartbreak|
|Michel lauds Atletico-like tactics|
|Simeone rues ´very negative´ result|
|Gutierrez diagnosed with testicular cancer|
|Championship Review: Norwich go top, Cardiff lose again|
|Galatasaray´s fighting spirit delights Prandelli|
|Hareide proud of Malmo display|
|Wenger: Dortmund worthy winners|
|Rodgers revels in winning return|
|Pereira calls for calm at Benfica|
|Hasi rues Anderlecht´s inexperience|
|Bellarabi critical of Leverkusen finishing|
|Bale: We showed what we´re made of|
|Koke targets Juve after Olympiacos setback|
|UEFA Europa League Preview: Tough test for Inter, Sevilla host Feyenoord|
|Allegri demands more from Juve|
|Klopp revels in Dortmund ´perfection´|
|League One Review: Sheffield United comeback stuns Colchester, Doyle stars for Chesterfield|
|League Two Review: Burton beaten, Exeter and Oxford claim first wins|
|Gerrard demands better from Liverpool|
|Galatasaray 1 Anderlecht 1: Gala playing catch-up despite late leveller|
|Liverpool 2 Ludogorets 1: Gerrard spot on for hosts|
|Benfica 0 Zenit 2: Hulk helps Zenit make flying start|
|Juventus 2 Malmo 0: Tevez ends Champions League drought to seal win|
|Olympiacos 3 Atletico Madrid 2: Spanish champions stunned by clinical hosts|
|Monaco 1 Bayer Leverkusen 0: Moutinho marks winning return for Monaco|
|Borussia Dortmund 2 Arsenal 0: Immobile and Aubameyang sink visitors|
|Real Madrid 5 Basel 1: Hosts begin title defence with dominant victory|
|Al Hilal 3 Al Ain 0: Al-Shamrani dazzles in frantic first leg|
|Arabian Gulf League Review: Al Ain start with win, Jorginho´s Al Wasl held|
|Al Qadsia 4 Persipura 2: Subotic double gives Al Qadsia the upper hand|
|Everton v Wolfsburg: Martinez eyes next phase of development|
|Time to prove quality - Blanc|
|Lopetegui wary of BATE|
|Schalke dealt Howedes blow|
|Dnipro v Inter: Guarin backs confident Inter|
|Mourinho belittles Europa League|
|Kompany: Time for City to close the gap|
|Lucescu opens up about Shakhtar challenges|
|Ribery out of Champions League clash|
|SFA to investigate Tonev allegations|
|Erbil 1 Kitchee 1: Belencoso gives Kitchee the edge|
|Partizan v Tottenham: Captain Kaboul reports for duty|
|Slomka sacked by Hamburg|
|Garcia not taking CSKA threat lightly|
|Hutton signs new Villa contract|
|Riga set for Blackpool stay|
|De Boer hoping to spring surprise|
|Milanov: De Rossi absence gives CSKA a chance|
|Pique reads nothing into Barca omission|
|Van Basten to step down to assistant role|
|Amat out for six weeks|
|Mourinho confirms Hazard talks|
|Luis Enrique: Champions League not a priority|
|Williams: Swansea learned Chelsea lessons|
|Vargas wants ´long-term´ QPR stay|
|Liverpool are no Champions League tourists, insists Rodgers|
|FIFA temporarily relieve Watson of duties|
|City do not fear Bayern - Milner|
|Everton to explore stadium plans|
|Gardner calls for fans´ support|
|Zidane: Benzema must score|
|Scholes: Liverpool are Champions League dark horses|
|Gerrard hopes for prolific Balotelli|
|Gervinho pens new Roma deal|
|Rodgers praises vice-captain Henderson|
|Argentine Primera Division Review: Independiente goalkeeper bags brace|
|Costa Rican Primera Division Review: Cartagines back to winning ways|
|Ronaldo to United a possibility, says Neville|
|Liga del Futbol Profesional Boliviano Review: Bolivar go top, Blooming slip up|
|Souness throws support behind Pardew|
|Allardyce targets defensive improvement|
|Bruce: Hernandez worth the wait|
|Ecuadorian Primera A Review: Barcelona win El Clasico del Astillero|
|Davies: Draw a fair result|